An Aspen by the River

It’s such a relaxing sight to watch the Aspen leaves rustling in the breeze and gently reaching over Clear Creek on the eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains in Colorado. http://www.MarthaLochertPhotography.com Image copyrighted and registered with the US Library of Congress. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.  

Apples On The Way?

I planted my first apple trees last April. They are still sweet little four-foot popsicles, but apparently they like where I planted them because they started budding a few weeks ago and are now in full bloom. It isn’t officially spring, but it is in Tucson – and the varieties I planted (Dorsett Golden and Anna) are […]

Liken It To a Lichen

Just what is lichen? It’s the symbiotic union of algae and fungus, with fungus being the dominant partner. Its combined form is different from either the fungus or algae. Some varieties cling to rock surfaces and grow in a carpet-like state, while others branch out from the surface of damp wood in a more three-dimensional form. It […]

Smells Like Rain; It’s the Creosote

There is a welcome, distinctive smell in the desert when it rains, which comes from the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), shown here. We desert dwellers will say “it smells like rain”  but what we are actually smelling is the creosote, shown here. Did you know they could live thousands of years? According to Steve Archer, […]

The Yin and the Yang of Life in the Desert

I like the latent tension in this photograph between the peaceful glow of the city lights and the painful needles on the saguaro cactus. It’s a sort of commentary on life in Tucson. Those of us who live here are ever-vigilant to not get poked; not get dehydrated; not get sun stroke; not get bitten by scorpions or […]

Grow Some Spearmint; Make A Mojito

This is the spearmint plant I have growing in a pot on my porch. The slightest movement of the leaves creates a wonderful aroma. I started growing it mostly as an experiment after seeing it for sale at my local nursery. I’ve always liked the smell of spearmint, but wasn’t sure what I would do with it. […]

Crested Saguaro

Carnegia gigantea (Englem.) Brit & Rose forma cristata, better known as a crested saguaro is a rarity, occurring only once in every 250,000 saguaro. http://www.nps.gov/sagu/learn/nature/why_crested.htm The cause of the mutation is not definitively known, with some biologists professing it is the result of a genetic mutation and others believing it is the result of either a lightning […]

Holiday Wishes

Whether you are with family and friends or spending the holidays by yourself, may you have a happy heart, love, laughter, good health and always, always, an appreciation for life. Make the most of every precious day you are given and treat others with that same respect for the preciousness of their moment in the […]

First Day of Autumn

Red-orange leaves from Sedona, Arizona to usher in the first day of fall. It’s still hot in Tucson, but eventually we will get some fall color on the few trees we have here that go through the change. Have a happy and healthy autumn! http://www.MarthaLochertPhotography.com Image copyrighted. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert

Make Your own Pyracantha Jelly

Pyracantha (or firethorn) is a thorny evergreen plant in the family Rosaceae, which is great for use as a hedge, but also produces a wealth of edible tiny red berries (pomes). In many parts of the country the berries are ready for harvest in the late fall, but in warmer climates like southern Arizona, the […]

Japanesque Desert

The dried flowers of a yucca silhouetted against the Tucson sky was the base for this Japanese-inspired art piece. Simplicity of form and the interplay of negative and positive space make this a satisfying image for me. Image copyrighted. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert http://www.MarthaLochertPhotography.com

Baja Fairyduster

One of the many plants erupting in color at Tohono Chul Park in northwest Tucson, Arizona (www.tohonochulpark.org)  is the Baja Fairy Duster (Calliandra californica). It is a soil and drought tolerant shrub which grows to five feet and blooms year-round, though more heavily in the Spring. It can take full sun, but is also hearty down to twenty degrees. As […]

Happy Feather Tree

My Feather Tree (Chilean Mesquite Tree) is in bloom. I’m happy. I have pampered three of these extremely slow-growing thorn-less mesquite hybrids from seed for about six years now and this one is only about two feet tall. They are a deciduous plant, so every winter they drop their leaves. Hearty to ten to fifteen degrees fahrenheit, they are usually […]

Aeonium decorum

On a “macroing” excursion I saw this gorgeous Sunburst Aeonium (Aeonium decorum) in the nursery at Tohono Chul Park (www.tohonochulpark.org) and was taken by the visual rhythm of this plant. I’m not a fan of baby  pink, but accenting the sage green and soft yellow, it is stunning. Aeoniums are members of Crassulaceae, in the succulent family. Most are native to […]

Silly Succulent

My Uncle Louis is a cartoonist (www.louisdunn.com) and I think he could make a wonderful cartoon commentary from this photograph of Hobbit Jade I made today. It is such an animated and cartoon-like plant, I’m  sure he could have great fun with it. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert. http://www.MarthaLochertPhotography.com

In Memoriam

For my second Dad on this special day as we celebrate your life through a day of memorial Joseph Holck March 28, 1927 – November 6, 2011 http://www.kajukenbo.info/kajukenbo/holck.html (The following poem was emailed to me. Source and writer is unknown.) Somewhere a journey begins at the end of the worldly existence we know, Where a […]